Abstract Title:

Policosanol: clinical pharmacology and therapeutic significance of a new lipid-lowering agent.

Abstract Source:

Am Heart J. 2002 Feb;143(2):356-65. PMID: 11835043

Abstract Author(s):

Ioanna Gouni-Berthold, Heiner K Berthold

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Policosanol is a mixture of higher primary aliphatic alcohols isolated from sugar cane wax, whose main component is octacosanol. The mixture has been shown to lower cholesterol in animal models, healthy volunteers, and patients with type II hypercholesterolemia. METHODS: We reviewed the literature on placebo-controlled lipid-lowering studies using policosanol published in peer-reviewed journals as well as studies investigating its mechanism of action and its clinical pharmacology. RESULTS: At doses of 10 to 20 mg per day, policosanol lowers total cholesterol by 17% to 21% and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by 21% to 29% and raises high-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 8% to 15%. Because higher doses have not been tested up to now, it cannot be excluded that effectiveness may be even greater. Daily doses of 10 mg of policosanol have been shown to be equally effective in lowering total or LDL cholesterol as the same dose of simvastatin or pravastatin. Triglyceride levels are not influenced by policosanol. At dosages of up to 20 mg per day, policosanol is safe and well tolerated, as studies of >3 years of therapy indicate. There is evidence from in vitro studies that policosanol may inhibit hepatic cholesterol synthesis at a step before mevalonate generation, but direct inhibition of the hydroxy-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase is unlikely. Animal studies suggest that LDL catabolism may be enhanced, possibly through receptor-mediated mechanisms, but the precise mechanism of action is not understood yet. Policosanol has additional beneficial properties such as effects on smooth muscle cell proliferation, platelet aggregation, and LDL peroxidation. Data on efficacy determined by clinical end points such as rates of cardiac events or cardiac mortality are lacking. CONCLUSIONS: Policosanol seems to be a very promising phytochemical alternative to classic lipid-lowering agents such as the statins and deserves further evaluation.

Study Type : Human Study

Print Options


Key Research Topics

Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

Subscribe to our informative Newsletter & get Nature's Evidence-Based Pharmacy

Our newsletter serves 500,000 with essential news, research & healthy tips, daily.

Download Now

500+ pages of Natural Medicine Alternatives and Information.

This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

© Copyright 2008-2021 GreenMedInfo.com, Journal Articles copyright of original owners, MeSH copyright NLM.